Promoting sustainable building design–Trade and Industry Tower in Kai Tak
To meet the keen demands of the community and the need to protect our environment, we require not only comprehensive town planning but also good building design. Over the years, the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) has actively promoted sustainable building design and incorporated low-carbon design elements into works projects, so as to ensure that the impact on the environment and the people is taken into account in planning every detail of a building. For two weeks in a row, I will take you to visit building projects undertaken by the ArchSD. The first stop is the Trade and Industry Tower (TI Tower) in the Kai Tak Development (KTD). I will introduce to you its design features and functions aimed to save energy, reduce emissions and enhance environmental performance.
The TI Tower consists of an office tower and the Kai Tak Community Hall. With a net opeartional floor area of about 33 000 square metres, the 22-storey office tower and its basement accommodate nine government departments and bureaux. In keeping with the “Green City” sustainable development concept of the KTD, the TI Tower puts special emphasis on greening and energy conservation features. These, together with the use of renewable energy technologies, make the total electricity consumption of the TI Tower approximately 36% less than that of a normal office building. In addition, the TI Tower has attained the Platinum rating, the highest in two green certifications, namely the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) Plus certification for New Buildings of Hong Kong and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the United States. The results are very encouraging.
Attention to detail in planning and design
Accompanied by the Director of Architectural Services, Mrs LAM YU Ka-wai, Sylvia, I was briefed by colleagues of the ArchSD on the design features, environmental-friendly and energy-saving facilities, and layout of the walkways of the TI Tower. I feel that the design team has indeed paid a lot of attention to detail behind the scenes. Mrs Sylvia LAM said that the planning of the KTD had adopted a people-oriented approach with good connectivity, enhanced sustainable development and incorporation of green features as key elements. As the TI Tower is the first government building project in the area, it is an exemplar for other building projects to come.
Featuring an extensive range of greenery, the project has a total green coverage of over 40 percent, higher than the requirement of 30 percent for the KTD. The TI Tower adopts a vertical greening design on the facades, forming the distinctive architectural feature of a “green ribbon” from the low floors all the way up to the roof. Lush vegetation is also planted at grade, on elevated walkways and the roof, creating a pleasant landscape.
Reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment
Speaking of sustainable building, many would think of more greenery or installation of photovoltaic panels. In fact, it involves a wide range of design features and technologies. Take the TI Tower as an example. For environmental-friendly and energy-saving measures, it uses low-emissivity insulating glass units and sunshades on the curtain wall, which can keep out heat and reduce electricity consumption for air-conditioning at the same time. In addition, offices in the TI Tower are equipped with occupancy sensors and daylight sensors that can adjust the lighting when there is sufficient daylight and thus help save electricity and energy.
I was also briefed by colleagues on the use of various renewable energy technologies, such as the operation concepts of photovoltaic systems, sun pipes, solar tracking optic fibre light pipes and solar chimneys. In addition, the TI Tower utilises the district cooling system in the KTD for air-conditioning, fully demonstrating that green concepts are embraced throughout the project.
Daylight sun-tubes collecting sunlight
Among other features, 27 sets of sun pipes are installed in different locations of the TI Tower to collect natural sunlight, which will be reflected, transmitted and brought into the TI Tower to reduce electricity consumption for lighting. The community hall we visited that day has 12 sun pipes installed on its roof. To cater for different kinds of activities held inside the hall, the design team has especially added devices which can adjust the amount of daylight to the sun pipes to suit activities that required to be conducted in dim light.
Six sets of solar tracking optic fibre light pipes are also installed on the green roof of the community hall. Their outdoor light collectors can automatically trace the movement of the sun during the daytime and collect sunlight for transmission into the building through the quartz optic fibre light pipes, so as to provide lighting for the dressing rooms and toilets of the community hall and help save energy for lighting.
The solar chimneys installed in the foyer of the community hall work on the principle of stack effect. When the hot air in the chimneys rises, stack effect creates natural wind within the foyer to reduce energy consumption. Other green features include the automatic refuse collection system, rainwater harvesting system and automatic rainwater recycling drip irrigation system.
Emphasis on connectivity with the surrounding areas
In addition, the layout and design of the TI Tower put great emphasis on connectivity with the surrounding areas. An array of walkways and footbridges run through different locations to enhance accessibility. For instance, the footbridges across Prince Edward Road East provide convenience for people to travel to and from San Po Kong; and the east-facing facade of the TI Tower has already made room for link bridge to connect to the future Inland Revenue (IR) Tower and other areas. I learned that the contract of the new IR Tower had already commenced on 18 August. This new tower, together with other projects that launch gradually, will let Kai Tak take on an entirely new look.
Next week, I will continue to take you to visit another project in the KTD to learn how the ArchSD upholds the concept of sustainable building design and maintains close communication with stakeholders to construct a one-of-a-kind, people-oriented building for the community.
26 August, 2018